Cooper Cooke state rodeo

District 7 cowboy Cooper Cooke spends time on the wild side with a ride in the bareback section Saturday morning and capturing the all-around title at the Idaho High School Finals Rodeo at the Bannock County Event Center.

Cooper Cooke knew he had a chance at the all-around title based on volume alone.

The Victor cowboy entered five events at this week’s Idaho High School State Finals Rodeo. A few points in each would put him in the hunt for an all-around championship.

But Cooke and his supporters avoided keeping track of his scores. So when his name was announced as the 2019 all-around state champion cowboy, it caught Cooke by surprise.

“It’s probably a better thing that we didn’t (keep track of scores), because it probably would’ve played with my head a little bit,” Cooke said. “All worked out.”

Cooke is headed to nationals in saddle bronc and bareback after finishing second and third, respectively, in the events at the Bannock County Event Center. He also competed in steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding — though he didn’t score in roping or wrestling.

That’s part of what made Cooke’s all-around title uncertain. The Teton High School sophomore also described his first round of events as “terrible” — he picked up eight points for finishing third in his first go of saddle bronc, but had no other points from the round.

“After the first round, I just wasn’t sure anymore,” Cooke said. “And then everything just kind of picked back up.”

In the second go-round, Cooke won bareback and tied for first in saddle bronc. He picked up more points in the third go, finishing second in bareback and saddle bronc to go with a fourth-place mark in bull riding.

Though Cooke didn’t achieve his pre-state goals of winning titles in saddle bronc and bareback, he said winning the all-around title makes up for it.

“Big time,” Cooke said. “That’s the coolest thing I think you can win here.”

Cooke adds to District 7’s haul of all-around cowboys this decade. Garrett Smith won four all-around state titles from 2010-13, Braden Newman won in 2014 and Wesley Parker did it in 2015. Cooke’s next chance to shine is on the national stage, where he claimed an all-around championship as a middle-schooler in 2016.

Breanna Jenkins, Cooper Cooke state rodeo

All-around champions Breanna Jenkins, left, and Cooper Cooke pose with their championship buckles after the Idaho High School State Finals Rodeo on Saturday at the Bannock County Event Center.

“I’ll probably hit a rodeo every weekend from now until nationals,” Cooke said. “And then it’s just game on.”

Breanna Jenkins’ up-and-down week ended where it started — with Jenkins on top.

The District 7 cowgirl only ran two of her six events during Saturday’s top-20 round, but her work early in the week bolstered her efforts enough to crown her the all-around state champion.

The Rexburg native and recent Madison High School graduate scored in every round of reined cow horse, finishing with 59 points and a state championship in one of the week’s early events. She also scored 10.5 points in cow cutting, giving her a solid foundation heading into the main arena events.

And it’s a good thing, because the rest of the week offered Jenkins a mixed bag. She scored eight points in goat tying and 15 in pole bending, while coming up empty in team roping and breakaway roping.

But Jenkins and horse Lena excelled in reined cow horse enough to make her other results moot. Lena was trained in the event, Jenkins said. Rider and horse are headed to nationals to vie for a repeat performance.

Jenkins is District 7’s first all-around cowgirl since Makayla Boots went back-to-back in 2012 and 13.

Breanna Jenkins state rodeo

Breanna Jenkins, shown here in the cow cutting event, won the reined cow horse event Monday at the Idaho High School State Finals Rodeo at the Bannock County Event Center.

LOCALS COME AWAY WITH STATE BUCKLES{/span}

District 8’s Cassidy Corta and District 4’s Cooper Duffin finished the Idaho High School State Finals Rodeo with state championships.

Corta claimed the title in pole bending and was the reserve all-around cowgirl. The Bancroft native entered Saturday’s top-20 go-round with the top time in the average and ran a 20.624 to hold off the rest of the field.

Corta was the eighth competitor to run in Saturday’s short go, so she had to wait and watch as the other 12 finalists tried to catch her.

“Today’s run was good,” Corta said. “We kind of safetied up and just kept it clean. … The way that my mare runs, she just is fast. So I just have to keep her off the poles. She likes to run a straight line. Today I kind of made more of a business run, like really pop her out wide to make sure she gets clean past them so they’re all standing.”

Corta is off to nationals in the poles and will continue rodeoing at Weber State University.

Duffin couldn’t be so conservative to win his state championship.

The Highland High junior and Pocatello native entered Saturday’s short go tied for the lead in tie-down roping with District 2’s Brayden Roe. Duffin’s turn was the second-to-last of the day — right before Roe’s — so Duffin knew he had to put pressure on his competitor.

He executed the best run of the week, tying his calf in 8.25 seconds. Roe clocked a 9.91 to give Duffin his first state championship buckle.

“I saw I drew a really good calf, so I knew that I just had to see my start so I didn’t break out,” Duffin said. “And then just had to be fast, make a good run.”

Duffin is also headed to nationals in team roping. He and partner Chance Moldenhauer finished as state runners-up for the second consecutive season.

{span class=”print_trim”}Duffin is the first calf roping state champ from District 4 since Clint Arave won in 2000 and 2001.

OTHER 2019 STATE CHAMPIONS:

Kelby Schneiter (bareback), Lan Larison (steer wrestling), Jesse Wadsworth (goat tying), Kade Bruno (saddle bronc), Haven Jones (breakaway roping), Garet Jardine and Jackson Cummins (team roping), Lindsey Peterson (barrel racing), Rowdy Piva (bull riding), Kiersten Brockett (girls cow cutting), Colt Ramsey (boys cow cutting), Ashlyn Hill (queen).

Locals Myra Rudolph, who took fifth in breakaway roping to qualify for the state competition, and Hunter Hill who qualified in bull riding placing third in the district, also competed at the state finals last weekend.

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.